Tell Me If You’ve Seen This One

I mean I know you already have, but still:


Identically, The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius actually praised the media’s failure to object to pre-war Bush lies as a reflection of what Ignatius said is the media’s supreme “professionalism”:

In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism. Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn’t create a debate on our own. And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it.

It’s fine to praise Jon Stewart for the great interview he conducted and to mock and scoff at Jim Cramer and CNBC.  That’s absolutely warranted.  But just as was true for Judy Miller (and her still-celebrated cohort, Michael Gordon), Jim Cramer isn’t an aberration.  What he did and the excuses he offered are ones that are embraced as gospel to this day by most of our establishment press corps, and to know that this is true, just look at what they do and say about their roles.  But at least Cramer wants to appear to be contrite for the complicit role he played in disseminating incredibly destructive and false claims from the politically powerful.  That stands in stark contrast to David Gregory, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, David Ignatius and most of their friends, who continue to be defiantly and pompously proud of the exact same role they play.


4 Responses to “Tell Me If You’ve Seen This One”

  1. stewart has been really great lately.

    not quite sequitur but here’s christian parenti from the nation’s socialism forum:

    “My second thought on the question of socialism concerns the centrality of intellectual work. This became apparent to me during a recent trip to India. Despite a decade and a half of neoliberal policies and much of India seeming to drift rightward, a coalition of communists and left regional parties is now poised to win the April elections. Even the current Congress-led coalition government has been acting rather left, spending heavily on rural welfare and development.

    In India I was struck by the political sophistication of regular working-class people. In the tea shops and among the knots of parked rickshaw drivers, the newspapers pass from hand to hand, and those who can’t read glean what they can from conversation.

    Compared to the average American, your average Indian has a superior grip on the intricacies of international relations, political economy, history and environmental issues like GMO crops. And Indians’ thinking about these matters tends to be structural and historically informed, capable of dealing with contradictions and nuance. The sentimentality, hectoring moralism and attraction to simple answers that are the anti-intellectual hallmarks of American political culture (particularly our left) are in India reduced to a faint murmur.

    I think this is to some extent the result of India’s broad and varied Marxist traditions, all of which take political education very seriously. The country is full of magazines, journals and small government-funded research centers. This intellectual work has a progressive impact on policy and electoral politics in countless ways.

    So in facing the big question of reimagining socialism, one small task for us might be to more rigorously reimagine our intellectual lives. We might do well to be more grown-up and less self-righteous, to address and accept contradictions. “

  2. traxus4420 Says:

    thanks for the link — i had sort of written stewart off a while ago as too jovial and not that funny, but the joviality really serves him when he’s going after people live like this. but lately you can tell that he’s angry — he hasn’t been trained to immediately second guess all emotional responses like mainstream newscasters. note how cramer just agrees with him the whole time, all “sure, i hate the system too, man,” the same strategy adopted by paulson and liddy, etc.

    what do you think of parenti’s point about the green new deal? i’ve always thought that’s the argument that will not just delay communist utopia as he says it must, but actually screw us all as soon as save us. it’s such a trump card.

  3. lecolonelchabert Says:

    the green new deal…in principle, yadda yadda.

    I think the UN trade and development folkses

    said today in their opinion, financial speculation should be outlawed globally. (plans “to weed out trading that has no social return”, which I think reuters called “alarmist” – this is the advance thing for the G20) Every utterance and statement has such the sound of scripted spectable these days, everything looks like pistols on Hedda Gablers wall. And the new green bubble? maybe, but we know that if the multitude do not become more militant the US gov can only continue with the maximal swindles.

  4. lecolonelchabert Says:

    Mike Davis:

    The New Economy, like the Old, also recognizes that survival in the current economic hurricane depends upon presence at court: in the short term at least, Obama and the Democratic leadership will have extraordinary influence over the selection of winners and losers. The contrasting fates of Lehman Brothers and aig (one left to bleed to death, the other given a government iv) sent tremors down the spine of every ceo and large shareholder in the United States. Even more than in Ferguson’s case-study of the 1930s, the future of every corporation or sector depends upon wise investments to ‘control the state’; which is why K Street, the Wall Street of lobbyists formerly owned by the Republican Party, has turned so blue in the last year. But of all the new Democratic investors, only the tech industries, with their captive universities and vast internet fandoms, still retain enough public legitimacy (domestic and international) and internal self-confidence hypothetically to act as a constructive hegemonic bloc rather than as a mob of desperate lobbyists.

    But, then again, the tech industries may simply be swallowed up, with everyone else, in the Götterdämmerung of Wall Street, while Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke fight on in the bunkers until the last taxpayer’s bullet is spent. (The euphoric national unity of Roosevelt and Swope’s nra, it should be recalled, quickly dissolved into strikes, tear gas and bayonets.) Obama’s nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package provides urgently needed relief as well as a modest down payment on the green infrastructure, but few economists seem to believe that it can actually stop the domestic downturn, much less generate enough ‘leakage’ through imports to stimulate Asia and Europe. The American financial system, in recent years the generator of 40 per cent of corporate profits, is dead—a colossal corpse hidden from full public view by the screen debates of the fall presidential campaigns. The market-oriented centrists and reformed deregulators whom Obama has restored or maintained in power have about as much chance of bringing the banks back to life as his generals do of winning the war against the Pashtun in Afghanistan. And no contemporary Walter Rathenau or Guy Rexford Tugwell has yet emerged with a scheme for rebuilding the wreckage into some plausible form of state capitalism.

    Meanwhile, the financial press warns that trillions will ultimately be required to make a ‘bad bank’ or bank nationalization work. But if Obama’s domestic spending fails to produce significant collateral benefits for America’s trading partners, they may think twice about buying Washington’s debt or decide to impose some conditionalities of their own. (Beware the dogma that the Chinese are slaves of their trade surplus and undervalued currency and have no alternative but to subsidize the us Treasury.) At Davos, Putin and Wen reminded the new President that he is no longer the master of his own house in the same way that Roosevelt or Reagan were.

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